GENEVA - The downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 may be a war crime, the U.N.'s top human rights official said Monday. U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay called for a thorough investigation into the violation of international law that occurred when the flight was shot down with a surface-to-air missile over a part of eastern Ukraine controlled by pro-Russian separatists on July 17, killing all 298 people on board.
"This violation of international law, given the prevailing circumstances, may amount to a war crime," Pillay said of the downed jetliner, which U.S. and Ukrainian officials say was shot down by a missile from rebel territory, most likely by mistake. A full-fledged investigation still has not begun at the crash site. Some bodies are still unrecovered and the site has been forensically compromised. Fighting over the weekend prevented a team of Dutch and Australian police officers from visiting the crash site to start searching for evidence and the remaining bodies.
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